Yes you are looking at the Elvis Panini. What is the Elvis you ask? Well, it is a peanut butter, banana, and bacon panini. Yes I said bacon. If you have never tasted the magic of peanut butter and banana then you have to go get a banana and peanut butter and try them together. I will wait…..
Ok, now that we are all on the same page I want to tell you how bacon improves this unlikely yet amazing flavor combination. I have a belief that bacon will improve the taste of any food. I hope to bring your more examples of why this is true, but for today let us focus on the Elvis Panini.
Here is why I think this sandwich is elevated to a new level with the addition of bacon. A panini is created by taking two pieces of bread (white french bread in this case) and adding some type of lubricant (usually butter or oil) to prevent the bread from sticking to the press that the sandwich is placed in. The sandwich is grilled creating a golden crispy texture that gives a nice crunch when you bite into it. There is an endless combination of ingredients that can be put between those two pieces of bread, but usually you want one of them to melt from the heat and bind everything together. Cheese is commonly used to do this, but in the case the Elvis it is the peanut butter that melts. Adding bacon to this physically brings everything together. If you have ever had hot peanut butter then you know how much of a mess it can be when you try to eat it. The bacon gives the peanut butter something to physically hold onto. It also adds a nice chewiness to the sandwich.
Most importantly, the bacon is the real hero of this dish because of the flavor it brings. Bacon’s smoky savoriness and salty taste adds depth to the sweetness of the banana and creamy nuttiness of the peanut butter. This contrast of sweet and salty/savory brings out each flavor even more than if they stood alone. It brings an unexpected yet incredibly pleasing new flavor profile to this dish. This is truly one of the most interesting flavors I have come across. If you have an appreciation for interesting flavor combinations you must give this a try.